Masterton district councillors yesterday sought the advice of a Carterton teenager who had the ear of world leaders this year.
Brittany Trilford, 18, was the only youth speaker at the United Nations Rio Earth Summit in Brazil in June after she won the worldwide Date with History video contest, expressing her hopes for our global future.
The contest was inspired by a speech given to the UN Assembly at the inaugural Rio Earth Summit in 1992 by then 12-year-old Severn Suzuki and Ms Trilford yesterday spoke to councillors at a meeting of Masterton District Council resource management committee.
Committee chairman Chris Peterson introduced Ms Trilford as a "truly remarkable young lady" who was last week named 2012 Youth Wellingtonion of the year and on Monday night received a KiwiBank Local Hero Medal in the capital.
Ms Trilford told councillors she last week sat her final exams as a Queen Margaret College student and next month is flying to the United Arab Emirates for an interview for a New York University scholarship to NYU Abu Dhabi.
If successful, she will begin degrees in environmental and political science.
Councillor Gary Caffell said the council was to found a youth task group and he asked for advice from Ms Trilford about engaging teens in council matters.
Ms Trilford said the establishment of a youth council "is a great place to start".
"Minus the jargon and the acronyms, make it simple. We just want to know what's going on - something we can question or challenge, embrace or endorse."
Councillor Pip Hannon raised the point with Ms Trilford about surveys that only canvassed landline telephone users. She said that stripped young cellphone owners from the equation and that "there's an important voice missing".